Review: Surecom SW-102 VHF/UHF meter
Type: VHF/UHF antenna/SWR meter
TLDR: Great meter! Haven’t found anything to complain about.
I bought this SWR meter in preparation for doing a lot of antenna building and learning the ropes of custom homebrew antennas. So far, I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this little machine. After building a new antenna, I regularly reach for the trusty Baofeng and this meter. As you can see in the images below, there is a lot of information on the screen to digest, but the import bits stick out fairly clearly. The largest numbers are the SWR reading and the power to the antenna is in the top right.
The meter runs on an integrated battery which charges via a USB cable and wall adapter that is included. I charged it for about 1 hour upon receiving it and I haven’t recharged it at all yet. I’m probably up to about 6 hours of run time on this first charge and the battery still reads mostly full.
My meter needed to be calibrated just a touch to align with the actual frequency transmitted. This is done via the menu (blue button), then pressing the red button twice, then raising or lowering the setting with the blue/yellow buttons. To save, press and hold the red button until the red light turns blue and then press the blue button for “Yes”. Don’t worry, there are very helpful on screen instructions and it is very intuitive.
The device has BNC connectors, but comes with SO-239 adapters. I purchased a couple of PL-259-to-PL-259 adapters (not shown) so I can attach the meter directly to a radio without needed a jumper. And finally, my Baofeng came with a BNV to SO-239 adapter that I use when testing homebrew antennas.
Also included in the box is a metal ground plane (pictured below) that you can position between your rubber duck and the antenna meter if you’re wanting to test a rubber duck.
All the demonstation images below are done with this set up:
Baofeng bf-f8hp –> BNC-to-SO-239 adapter –> PL-259-to-PL-259 barrel –> meter –> 50ohm dummy load
I’ll draw your attention to the measured power on the “High power” setting on the Baofeng. The owner’s manual for the bf-f8hp claims this radio will do 8 watts on the high setting, but the meter only ever measured a bit over 5watts. I’m not shocked at all by that. The low power setting is very consistent at 1 watt. These tests were done on a fresh battery.
Do you have thoughts or comments? Perhaps a suggestion for a future review? Please comment below and let me know!
Thanks and until next time, 73s!